Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Back in the Swing

I'm trying to get back into a routine, and after almost a week, I think I'm getting there.  Exercise is back on the agenda (Curves is my workout routine).  I've filled 3 screen orders in as many days, so that's back on track.  Yesterday I canned some banana peppers, and used 2 zucchini for dinner.  Still some beans, yellow squash and tomatoes waiting and there will be another trip to the garden tomorrow. 
I took some time to complete a readers' challenge for Quilting Arts, so that's the only quilting I've done, but I guess I can't show it until after finalists are selected. (Instead I have a preliminary photo and the finished back.) 

And I'm taking some time to enjoy this beautiful weather we are having - would love it to stay this way!  Who would have expected it to be so cool in late July??

Monday, July 28, 2014

Back Home

I've been home for a few days now and still am trying to get back to a normal routine.  Today I had some time to start unpacking my quilt camp stuff so I can work in my studio.  I also had to unpack & set up the thermofax machine so I could make some screens for an order.  Still a few more things to do to be ready to work, the plan is to get that done tomorrow.  Of course, garden produce is coming in so that has a tendency to preempt other planned activities.  Beans need to be frozen and tomatoes canned, but if I do a bit every day, hopefully it will not take so much time.
So lacking any new pictures of quilting projects, instead here are some pictures of  kitchen projects.

The last photo is the tomatoes still left after canning 4 1/2 quarts.  And there will be more tomorrow!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

QC6 Day 23

Today was my last day of quilt camp.  Elizabeth and Barbara will have to carry on without me.  The day was spent mostly packing up after rinsing out the last few pieces in dye.  Sad to say good bye.  Here are some shots from the day.

Monday, July 21, 2014

QC6 Day 22

My time at quilt camp is finally winding down.  My husband arrived today, so I will be departing in a few more days.  As I said yesterday, I'm trying to squeeze a few more things in before I go.  We had some errands to do in Wolfeboro this morning, so again a not very productive day in the studio.  However the reason for the errands was to go to the library to make prints for screens and the post office to mail some orders, so that part of the day was productive.  We have had 12 orders through our Etsy shop over the last 3 weeks - the most ever in that amount of time so PGFiber2Art has definitely been productive!  We've also added 8 new screens to the shop these last 3 weeks and also screened tote bags.  Check us out at the link above.

What I did get done in the studio was to rinse out the 2 indigo pieces from yesterday.  I'm satisfied with the results, especially the scarf, which really didn't take much dye on the first go-round.  The green piece will probably have some more surface design added.
I also put some more pieces in dye for another "experiment".  We have some instructions for dyeing with a "suede" finish, so decided to do a comparison between the "suede" ingredients and standard ingredients.  Here are the 2 dye pots of plum waiting till wash out tomorrow.
Elizabeth did some quick printing this evening making "cloud" fabric.  And I burned some more screens today that are ready for taping.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

QC6 Day 21

The days sure go by quickly.  It was cloudy, cool and gray this morning till mid-afternoon.  So the morning was spent indoors on the computer working on business stuff.  But I did get some things done this afternoon and evening.  I had 2 pieces sitting in some left over dye that I washed out; one in yellow & coral, one in blue.  I knew a lot of color would wash out because the dye was pretty well spent, but I like the soft colors of the coral & yellow.  Hopefully not too much will wash out in the final machine wash.  The blue is darker than I expected but probably more will wash out of that too.

Then I did a little screen printing with thickened dye on a couple of pieces that have been sitting around - previously dyed and/or surface designed - waiting for something else. I really like the texture this crackle screen adds.

I decided to dye a couple more pieces in the indigo pot.  One is the silk scarf that I pole wrapped and dyed before, but it came out with very little color so this time I used small glass marbles banded with rubber bands.  And I had a fat quarter that was a pretty solid green, so I accordion pleated it and banded it every few inches.  Here they are after dipping; tomorrow I'll hang them in the sun to dry.
I also put some other pieces in soda ash to soak so they'll be ready for more dyeing tomorrow.

Quilt camp (at least for me) will be coming to an end soon - just a few more days!  So I'm trying to fit in all the things I still want to do!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

QC6 Day 20

Really?  20 days?  Where has the time gone?  What's left on the to-do list?  Today was supposed to be more productive, but alas, too much going on.  This morning we went to the church flea market and bought some odds and ends to use in the studio.  From there, we went to a day lily sale where the prices were super low - $1.50 per fan.  Just had to wait our turn for them to be dug. 

By the time we got back it was past lunch time.  After lunch, we made a run to the library to print out some images for a screen order.  By the time we got done it was 2PM.  Back to the cabin.  I washed out the last 2 pieces of indigo.

After that I puttered around in the garage studio - laundered the indigo pieces, laundered some new fabric, put some other pieces in dye.  Did a little over-printing.  Then it was time to make dinner.  So that was day 20.  Not planning to go anywhere tomorrow, hopefully it will be more productive.

Friday, July 18, 2014

QC6 Day 19

We made another trip to Keepsake Quilting today, with a stop at an antique shop on the way and the grocery store after, so didn't accomplish much in the studio.  But I did wash out 4 more pieces of indigo dyeing (pictures of just 3) and, I made pie!! (Keeping up with my 1 my per week assignment, only this week I was an over achiever and made 2.)

The top photo is a fat quarter that was clamped with wooden circles to resist the dye.  In the 2nd piece which is cotton gauze, I used wooden discs and buttons with rubber bands wrapped around; the stripes are also done with rubber bands.  The third piece is also cotton gauze that was pole wrapped.

The pie this week is Shoo-fly Pie, a PA Dutch tradition.  This is my great grandmother's recipe, which makes 2 pies (that's why I made 2).  Yum!  Haven't had this in a long time.  Part pie, part coffee cake.
At Keepsake we happened to get there for the first day of their fat quarter sale.  I didn't need any fabric but........40% off!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

QC6 Day 18

Wow!  Today we got to see the first of the indigo results!  That was fun.  I had only 1 of the 2 pieces I dyed on Tuesday that was dry, so that's all I have to show right now.  It is a rayon circular scarf, and I'm pleased with the way it turned out.  The other piece was pole dyed and it is still drying out.  Hopefully I will be able to rinse it tomorrow.  I dyed the rest of my pieces today (5 more) so it may take a day or 2 for them to dry.  Here's the scarf - on the left it is still wet; on the right it is dry.
I also experimented with using up some leftover dye by brayering it on fabric that was laid over top of stencils, to see if it would create a pattern like a rubbing.  This was somewhat successful, enough so that I will do a bit more experimenting.
 In the picture below, the blue piece is one that I dyed a few days ago - and had forgotten about!  I think it turned out really well, considering that (again) I was using up some leftover dye and experimenting a bit.
The next 3 photos are yet another experiment - comparing Solar Fast dye and sun printing.  For sun printing, certain paints react in sunlight leaving images on cloth of items used as resists.  I use Pebeo Setacolor paint for this.  One of my first QC6 posts was about a sun print I started with and continued to add layers to.  Solar Fast is a fairly new product by Jacquard that is a dye that reacts in sunlight.  So I took a fat quarter that had been previously dyed, split it into 2 pieces, and used Solar Fast on one and Setacolor on the other.  I did similar arrangements of ferns and set them in the sun.  I work on a foam core board that is covered with plastic, and cover the arrangement with organza tacked to the board to keep everything in place, especially on a windy day like today.  After 30 minutes the Solar Fast has to be washed out.  The Setacolor is paint so just gets heat set with an iron.  The photos show the before, during and after of the process; Solar Fast is on the left, Setacolor on the right.

It was about 1:30-2:00 in the afternoon when I set this out in the sun; ideally around noon is a better time of day when the sun is directly overhead.   I think that's why the sun print in particular is not as clear as it might be.  I think the Solar Fast may give a bit more depth to the print.  Both yield interesting results.  There are some other options for Solar Fast besides using natural objects; more experiments are in order!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

QC6 Day 17

Another rainy day today meant it was time for another shop hop trip for more free row patterns in the Row by Row Experience.  We went to 3 quilt shops - 2 in Maine and 1 in New Hampshire, another store in Maine called Mardens that is a surplus store, but has a large fabric department, and Walmart. The picture with the large FABRIC sign is Mardens - interesting place, some good bargains. That was the first stop.
Then we found the first shop, Sanford Sewing Machine Co.; not too impressive on the outside but the shop was really nice and they have a pretty row.  We bought the kit.  Lots of pretty fabrics, nice shop.
Walmart was right across the street so we made a quick stop for some things we needed, then went on to find a place for lunch.  Next stop was a shop called Kathie's Quilt Shop - a lovely place in a large old house in Sanford.  It was bright and spacious and had a huge variety of fabrics and notions - something for every taste.  She had the biggest supply of perle cotton I've ever seen in one place! Modern fabrics, traditional, wool, flannel, you name it.  This was my favorite shop we've been to so far.
The last stop of the day was back in New Hampshire at a small shop in Milton called Evergreen Country Primitives.  This shop was in the basement of a house on a rural road, but very nice and very friendly.  They specialize in wool and penny rug type stitchery but had some other things of interest as well.  Needless to say I found something to buy in every shop we've been to!
And their "license plate" is the best yet!  (A take-off on the state motto, "Live Free or Die".)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

QC6 Day 16

After I finished posting last night, I realized I forgot to include a picture of the one new thing I did yesterday.  I tried a product called Solar Fast, which works similar to sun printing.  You apply the solar fast dye to the fabric and place things on top to create shadows (items from nature, stencils, etc.); you can also make transparencies of photos but I don't have the equipment here to do that.  Cover with glass or something sheer (I used organza) and place in the sun for about 30 minutes.  Then remove and place in hot water with the solar fast wash or synthropol.  I used teal dye on top of a fabric that was previously dyed, a lighter teal color.  That's why the impressions you see are not white.  The actual color is not quite as brown/gray as it appears in the picture.
Today was rainy most of the morning and again late afternoon.  We decided it was a good day to try indigo dyeing - I started getting pieces ready yesterday - all different types of shibori.  Indigo dyeing is very different from the Procion MX dyes we usually use.  Its prepared in a large bucket (vat) and is a yellow-green color in the vat.  Items are submerged for 2-3 minutes, then allowed to sit for 15 minutes; then they can be dipped again if you want a more intense color. When they come out of the dye and the air hits them, the color change begins from green to blue.  The vat can be kept going for several months, unlike the MX dyes that only last a day or 2 (or a few hours depending on the process you use).  The top group of photos show some of the different ways the fabric & scarves have been manipulated.  The second collage shows parts of the dyeing process.  We only dyed some of the pieces today; the others will be done another day this week.

I also did a little bit on two started pieces today.  First is the neutral collage that was dyed blue;  I fused on a binding and wanted to show the 2 side by side.  I also plan to add some hand stitching for embellishment.
Below is the Artistic Artifacts row which I've added a border to and layered with batting and backing for quilting.  The binding will be the same as the strips between each section, so that will tone down the orange a bit.
 And finally, another rainy day resulted in another beautiful sunset!